Training partners play a crucial role in designing and implementing skill development projects. Anuna Education, Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, has taken up the responsibility of making a positive difference in the lives of youth in the state through a host of programs in education and skill based training. In this Skill Story, Amit Iqbal Srivastav, Founder and CEO, Anuna Education, tells us more about the unique name of the institution and the lasting impact they have been creating among the youth.
Anuna in Sanskrit mean something superior and this is what the institution is striving to achieve through various initiatives in skill development, training and entrepreneurship. We partner with NSDC and work with a lot of industry sectors like banking, solar renewable energy, health care and animation. After living in the USA for 20 years, I decided to come back to India and do something remarkable in the field of skill development by reducing skill gaps and basic skill problems that we face in our country. We wanted to create a brand and an institution that outlives me as well and helps others. We have been into the field of skill development since 2007, but the institution of Anuna has been created by partnering with NSDC.
Anuna’s programs in skill development and entrepreneurship
We partner with NSDC, the state government skill mission (UPSDM) and the central government . We have essentially divided the programs into three segments, one is the entry level program and this is supported under various government schemes, because these programs require huge numbers and also our target is underprivileged sections.
Our second program is the high level program, generally corresponding to NSQF level 5 or above. We run specific programs in finance, accounting and HR and sales and marketing. These programs are especially for NSQF levels 7 or 8 for Undergraduate and diploma levels, and these are the programs which somebody would actually pay for. We have adapted the Qualification Packs (QPs) for various roles like Banking and HR . So if you look at all the QP in the system, you will find very few which actually correspond to the higher levels of NSQF, so we have to choose and customise them and then offer them as courses for the high level program.
And the third level is entrepreneurship. We are happy to say that we have been excellent in this field. We have a special program where we focus on entrepreneurship and artisans and certify them under NSQF for retail entrepreneurship and also connecting them to eBay which is one of our tie-ups which does complete hand holding for three years. Basically this helps them run their shop for 6 months and get all their promotion done and get them exposed to foreign market, because Ebay is the only company in India that has license to retail export. In fact, you can sit in any part of India and export to any part of the world which is not the case with other e-commerce portals, because they are more India centric.
So even a traditional retailer can come on board and sell his product online with an 8 times margin over the MRP. People are happy with this model because they can earn money, they do not have to pay any rent, they don’t need to employee someone and don’t have to buy the inventory and put it somewhere and they can make money. And this is also being supported by the Pradhan Mantri Rozgar Yojana, so the people applying for the scheme also have the option to avail loan up to Rs. 10,00,000 and this is one program that is giving us maximum satisfaction.
NSQF adoption in schools
Unfortunately, the NSQF levels from classes 9 to 12 haven’s started well yet and we have plans for ensuring better adoption. We have seen great success in Haryana and Jharkhand and eventually we will see a lot more adoption at various state levels and implementation at various school programs. But, even in the higher level program where we are asking people to pay and avail the placement opportunities, we still have to align our program with the current aspiration of our industry. To do so, we have also tied up with TISS, they are the first ones to offer vocational courses and now we are able to offer PGDM and credit management along with the NSDC higher level certification. So, we wee more participation because there is some kind of PGDM or degree attached to it and this is only in the paid segment whereas inn the entry level program this does not happen.
New initiatives and positive impact
We try to bring in a lot of new initiatives in the market, for example, our current focus on entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. We have recently tied up with a US company which has been there since the 80’s which is basically an English speaking platform for classes 8th to 12th for people in China, Turkey, France and so on. The beauty of the program is that it teaches English and brings a person from 0 level to TOEFL level in less than 320 hours, which normally takes around 1000 hours. So we are trying to include this in everything that we do, even in India in both the entry and the high level programs we feel that English speaking is important because it builds confidence and also builds employability skills.
The road ahead for Anuna
Vision, going forward, we are very excited about the entrepreneurship and we look at every district, small town, large town as a traditional market and many of these towns have an indigenous handloom market and things like that. So our aim is to bring at least 30 to 40% of the traditional market like craftsmen, artisans on Ebay and thus add to their livelihood as well as to the GDP.